Advertisement

Chef prepares for 2 restaurant openings in downtown Las Vegas

Bookmark this
March 10, 2019 By Al Mancini

“Change is always more difficult than you remember.”

Dan Krohmer is nursing a whiskey at Atomic Liquors, just a block from the ongoing construction on his two new restaurants in Fremont Street’s Fergusons Downtown complex, grasping for a reply to an inquiry about how he’s doing. After a few more seconds, he becomes a bit more direct.

“I’m doing a whole lot better now,” the chef/owner of the popular off-Strip seafood spot Other Mama continues. “I was in a funk for a while. I’m not really sure why. The restaurant was going great, and I was frustrated with myself that I wasn’t feeling it. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy being there. But it was like, ‘What next?’”

That funk was almost certainly amplified by the fact that Krohmer, whose career has included time in celebrity chef kitchens and on the road with rock and pop superstars, was realizing he’d become addicted to pain pills.

“I’ve always been one just to go (all out), especially doing the music tour stuff. It was like, (for) seven weeks I can do anything. I can crush. I can do whatever, I can live on whiskey. I’ll make it.”

But those periods, he’s quick to note, had natural conclusions. His newfound status as an independent businessman and leader of the off-Strip dining renaissance wasn’t a tour that he could follow up with a self-imposed sabbatical in a tropical locale with no cares except recharging his batteries. Now, as potential partners were approaching him about new projects, he found himself asking “What does 38-year-old Dan want, not 22-year-old Dan?” And all the while, he was slipping deeper and deeper into the grip of the pills.

The wake-up call came when he decided to partner with Fergusons, a former motel that’s becoming a market square for the downtown community. Currently home to the monthly Market in the Alley art, food, music and fashion festival, it’s in the midst of a buildout that’s expected to add a recording studio, art studio, coffee shop and office space. Fergusons curator Jen Taler asked Krohmer to serve as director of food and beverage and create a pair of restaurants.

For the chef, who had recently moved downtown, it offered a chance to provide his new neighborhood with the kind of casual but smart dining options he thought the area lacked: a Mexican street food spot called La Monja and a Japanese izakaya — or pub — called Hatsumi.

It will also take Krohmer, no stranger to awards and accolades, out of the spotlight and put him behind the scenes, creating restaurants hand-in-hand with the chefs who will run them. And that shift seems to be exactly what 38-year-old Dan was looking for.

“I hate the singularity of food. I think it’s such a disease,” he says of the desire for fame and recognition that often fuels the culinary industry. “If you try to make it all about yourself, you build your own prison. I’m tired of doing that. I’d rather help people by putting them in great positions, and use my input and philosophy to work together.”

He’s received his share of accolades, saying “sending that stuff to my mom has probably been the best thing about it.” This position offers a chance to create places where he could take pride in acclaim, but for an unselfish reason.

“In a year, when these places win some crazy awards, I’m not going to accept them. It’ll be whomever is there daily. It’s not about me. And that thought makes me feel good. Thinking like that makes me feel better.”

There was still, however, one problem.

“I signed this contract with them last June, (when) I was still flying high,” Krohmer confesses.

“After signing this and seeing the support from these guys, and realizing how much I was responsible for their well-being and these future projects and how much they believed in me, that’s what made me want to work on myself. Because that’s how I could show my respect for them.”

After a month on a local farm, under the care of a doctor who specializes in opioid recovery, Krohmer has emerged free of the drugs, rejuvenated and with a clear head and newfound enthusiasm. Touring the construction on the new sites, he enthusiastically points out small details on restroom doorways that excite him, and makes notes of potential problems at the yakitori bar. He paints a verbal picture of locals hanging out and socializing in the communal courtyard. He believes Fergusons has the potential to be a game-changer downtown, and for him personally.

“Somebody asked me what I’m most proud of, and I said creating jobs. When I sit back, I’m blown away. I think of myself still as this 16-year-old stoner, and all I could think about was (girls) and where to get some (drugs). And now people are actually looking at me to make sure their children are fed. That’s pretty intense.”

 


Recent Articles

MSG Sphere excavation begins near Las Vegas Strip

MSG Sphere excavation begins near Las Vegas Strip

in Entertainment News, Future Las Vegas

Construction equipment has been mobilized and excavation has begun for the 18,000-seat performance venue.

March 14, 2019 By Richard N. Velotta

Sushi Burger at Sake Rok is new twist on old format

Sushi Burger at Sake Rok is new twist on old format

in Food

Sure, you could settle for boring old burgers and wings to fuel your viewing of all of the Pac-12 Basketball Tournament and March Madness action, but Sake Rok’s new Sushi Burger sounds much more interesting.

March 14, 2019 By Heidi Knapp Rinella

Paul McCartney adds additional Las Vegas tour date

Paul McCartney adds additional Las Vegas tour date

in Entertainment News

Paul McCartney is adding a second date at T-Mobile Arena in June and Rod Stewart has set his eight shows for the fall at Caesars Palace in a spate of show announcements this week.

March 13, 2019 By John Katsilometes

Britney Spears producing musical headed for Broadway

Britney Spears producing musical headed for Broadway

in Entertainment News, News

Spears’ music is being featured in a musical being produced for Broadway. Renowned theater owner James L. Nederlander announced Tuesday that he is producing a new show featuring Spears’ high-selling song catalog.

March 12, 2019 By John Katsilometes

LVCVA moving ahead with underground transport system

LVCVA moving ahead with underground transport system

in Future Las Vegas, News

The organization’s board of directors on Tuesday approved a proposal with Elon Musk’s The Boring Co. to develop a subterranean people-moving transit system.

March 12, 2019 By Richard N. Velotta

Advertisement

Must Read Articles

Three Basic Immigration Laws You Need to Know

Three Basic Immigration Laws You Need to Know

in Sponsored Content

Immigration is one of the most talked about -- yet least understood topics -- in today’s headlines.

December 26, 2017 By Law Offices of Peter L. Ashman

Bunk bed rooms coming to Las Vegas Strip hotel

Bunk bed rooms coming to Las Vegas Strip hotel

in Future Las Vegas, News

The next phase of the Flamingo Las Vegas’ remodeling project includes 14 new bunk bed rooms along with several bunk bed suites.

December 12, 2018 By Bailey Schulz

$800M extreme sports park south of Las Vegas Strip gets OK

$800M extreme sports park south of Las Vegas Strip gets OK

in News

An extreme sports park with a 15-story hotel that would be built south of the Strip received county approvals Wednesday.

September 11, 2017 By Eli Segall

Ready to escape? 8 tips to conquer an 'Escape Room'

Ready to escape? 8 tips to conquer an 'Escape Room'

in Sponsored Content

You and your family, friends or colleagues are locked in a room for an hour and have to use your brains to figure out how to escape. Here are 8 tips to help you succeed!

August 13, 2018 By Number One Escape Room